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Apprenticeships Key Terms, explained

Unsure about what EPA stands for? Ever wondered what Functional Skills are and what they involve? Read on to find out...

End-point assessment organisation (EPAO) - an organisation approved to deliver end-point assessment for a particular apprenticeship standard. EPAOs must be on the register of end-point assessment organisations.

Knowledge, skills, and behaviours (KSB) - what is needed to competently undertake the duties required for an occupational standard.

Functional Skills -

Functional skills is a type of training that’s used to get apprentices up-to-speed on English, Maths, and ICT (information and communication technology) in cases where they require support in one or more of these areas.


Functional Skills are a core part of an apprenticeship completion requirement. Apprenticeship Standards include details of the English and Maths requirements, either at the minimum level set by Government, or above the minimum level if required by the Trailblazer.


Functional Skills in English and Maths are mandatory for all apprentices who don’t hold GCSEs in these subjects and, in the case of ICT, where the apprenticeship Standard specifies it as a requirement.


Apprentices with the relevant A-C GCSE grades are exempt from undertaking the Functional Skills requirement set out in a framework.

Break in learning -

This is a break in training where an individual is not continuing with their apprenticeship but has told the employer beforehand that they intend to resume their apprenticeship in the future.

Commitment statement -

A statement held by the main provider, the apprentice, and their employer. The commitment statement sets out how the apprentice will be supported to successful achievement of the apprenticeship. It must be signed by the apprentice, their employer, and the main provider, and all three parties must retain a current signed and dated version.

Gateway requirements -

These are requirements set out in the assessment plan that must be met by the apprentice prior to undertaking end-point assessment of the apprenticeship standard.


They will include the completion of English and maths qualifications (where applicable) and completion of any on-programme mandatory qualifications (where applicable) along with satisfactory evidence (as determined by the employer, in consultation with the main provider) that the apprentice has achieved the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviours set out in the standard.

Individualised learner record (ILR) -

The primary data collection requested from training providers for further education and work-based learning in England. The data is used widely, most notably by the government, to monitor policy implementation and the performance of the sector.


It is also used by organisations that allocate funding for further education.

Off-the-job training -

Training which is not on-the-job training and is received by the apprentice, during the apprentice’s normal working hours, for the purpose of achieving the approved apprenticeship standard to which the agreement or arrangement relates.

On-the-job training -

Training which is received by the apprentice during the apprentice’s normal working hours for the sole purpose of enabling the apprentice to perform the work to which the agreement or arrangement relates.

Want to find out about more key terms? Refer to the Institute of Apprenticeships' glossary of terms.


Look out for more content on the NTA blog soon!

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